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03-07-2023 | Frank Jansen

Ruffaut and Arnoudo win Maratona dles Dolomites

Loïc Ruffaut succeeded in winning the Maratona dles Dolomites after La Marmotte. In women's race, defending champion Martha Maltha failed to secure her third title in a row; Italy's Samantha Arnoudo took the win. Martha had to settle for second place.

Photo: Tommaso Elettrico (left), Loïc Ruffaut and Patrick Hagenaars (right)

Double for Ruffaut

Loïc Ruffaut (FR) has sometimes been called Mister number 2. This season, too, he already finished in second place several times. But things can change. In La Marmotte he struck mercilessly and also yesterday in the Maratona he was the best. There was no competition from his eternal rival Stefan Kirchmair this time - Kirchmair rode the medio fondo in which he finished second.

Ruffaut managed to attack just before the finish from an elite group that included triple winner Tommaso Elettrico (IT), world champion Patrick Hagenaars (AT), Frederic Glorieux (BE) and Tim Alleman (BE). 'The was a standstil for a while after the Mur dles Giat, Ruffaut escaped and he was gone,' said Glorieux who himself had tried to attack shortly before. The sprint for second place was won by Elettrico. Glorieux got closed in and finished fourth.

Ruffaut couldn't be happier:

I'm very proud of this win! I've dreamed to win this race ten years ago. Finally, my first participation this year and... I win. Just an amazing day in the most beautiful amateur race in the world. The organization, atmosphere and couse are just perfect.

No three in a row for Maltha

The big favorite among the ladies was of course two-time winner Martha Maltha (NL). But she immediately felt she didn't have the legs and soon found herself behind. Already on the Pordoi she was passed by the winner, Samantha Arnoudo (IT). Martha: "I would never have beaten her even with good legs. Actually, it was a struggle with myself for a whole day after that.'

Despite the down day, she was able to catch up with her competitors and on the Mur dles Giat she even managed to catch Martina Trevisiol (IT). Martha won the sprint for second place, Trevisiol finished third.

Photo: Martha Maltha (left), Samantha Arnoudo and Martina Trevisiol (right)

Stunning event

In fine weather conditions, 7915 riders managed to reach the finish line. Full results can be found here.

Want to ride this gran fondo yourself? A good idea, said Martha: "A word about the event itself; this remains absolutely my favorite gran fondos of the ones I've ridden. The bizarrely beautiful surroundings, the atmosphere all week in Corvara, the nice clothes you get, the live broadcast on RAI2, the helicopters hovering over the course all day, the completely car-free course. I would say everyone should have ridden this one once.'

The date for 2024, by the way, is not yet known.

Foto credits: Maratona dles Dolomites.

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